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The “Noble” Wine Grapes

The term “Noble” signifies a wine grape generally considered one of the truly great wine grapes in the world. There is no standard or authoritative list, and different sources’ lists may vary a bit. The original “Noble Grapes” were six in number, almost all of French origin; few today go by that list, feeling it is—among other failings—too blatantly Francophile.

The list below, some eighteen grapes, seems to be the modern consensus, though as noted above there is no actual “standard” list. The six original “Noble” grapes are each marked with an asterisk.

It is important to understand that lists like that are not definitive, and indeed not really very helpful at all. There are numerous wine grapes producing wine arguably as good as or even better than some of those “noble” grapes—just offhand, one might mention Aglianico, Cabernet Franc, and Zinfandel. So regard such lists as amusing sidelights, not infallible guides.

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Listed below are wines from reasonably well-respected grapes, but which wines are quite scarce in the U.S.—so much so that it didn’t seem needful to even put up a page about them here. Still, there are these few odd samples that you might run across somewhere and might want to be aware of. (The wine names are links to their pages at Wine Searcher.)

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This page was last modified on Saturday, 30 October 2021, at 11:26 pm Pacific Time.